Before they hit the road for their 3-month long Wheels of Soul tour on June 5th, Tedeschi Trucks Band performed a highly anticipated set at Central Park Summerstage. Originally formed in 2010 by husband and wife, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, the 11-member, Grammy Award winning ensemble is not the kind of band that you listen to passively. It’s one thing to hear a performance from one of the greatest guitarists in the world, but it’s an entirely different thing to experience it live, accompanied by the vocal and instrumental support of such comparably tremendous talent.
Most of those in attendance were either devoted fans of Tedeschi Trucks Band or devoted fans of The Allman Brothers Band, which a then, 24 year-old Trucks became an official member of in 1999. Following a performance by Spirit Family Reunion, the crowd erupted with applause out of what seemed like sheer anticipation, before Tedeschi Trucks Band even appeared on stage. Over the course of their two hour plus set (an incredible feat of musical fortitude for even the most seasoned musicians) members of the band performed with guests that included extraordinary, powerhouse vocalist, Sharon Jones, and blues musician, Doyle Bramhall II, who joined them for soulful duets, innovative covers and awe-inspiring guitar solos.
With the caliber of talent showcased at Central Park Summerstage, it’s challenging to describe the mood of the evening without sounding melodramatic, but it was the sentimentality of the audience, the expressions on their faces, their body language, their interactions with both friends and strangers that made the evening so affecting. More than once, I participated in and overheard, heartwarming conversations between classic rock/blues veterans and twenty-something music protégé’s sharing the details of their first experiences at a live performance. Tedeschi Trucks Bands should take pride in the fact that their artistic predispositions are capable of giving way to what can arguably be considered, one of life’s little miracles, and the whole evening set an example for the kind of meaningful and memorable connections that music can inspire. Moreover, it felt extremely special to witness and be introduced to a band that can elicit such a poignant and unifying response from their audience.
Article: Lea Weatherby
Photos: Michael DiGiovanni